Dominican Rep. Today, Friday, three days after the devastating earthquake, our Haitian seminarians in Santo Domingo and Mexico (ten of them) still do not have any news about their families. So we finally decided to send these young men in search of the beloved ones. Although the level of their anxiety is considerable, the mutual support of their community has helped them much to maintain their faith and fortitude in these moments.
We have just had a community meeting in an atmosphere of prayer, in which we have sung psalms, we have listened and shared the Word, and we have helped them prepare the trip to meet with this dramatic reality. The entire professed formative community was present (Fr. Carmelo Astiz, superior; Fr. Camilo Minaya, formator; Fr. Luis Alberto Girón, Bro. Josep Odena, Bro. José Benoi) who together with Fr. Alexis Díaz (member of the government) and I, organized this special moment. Among the ideas that I shared with them were these: that we are men of faith and hope, because we bring Jesus Christ in our heart, the hard and difficult situation they are going to confront will certainly impress them, the uncertainty of not knowing what they are going to find there, that they should go two by two, never alone, that they should have our house of Haiti as reference point, that they should tell their relatives that they could go to our community to seek basic essential food, etc. etc. I cannot describe my feelings in sending “our sons” to confront face to face with what they have only seen in television. I can only imagine how difficult it will be for them, when I think of what I myself would feel if I were in their place. We have prayed to the Lord for each one of them and for their families. Fr. Girón accompanied them to receive the vaccines that are being required now to enter Haiti and buy some provisions. Finally, I have expressed to them that the Congregation had always loved each one of them even before it knew them personally and now it tells them in their face. The Haitian people has always been in the heart of our Mother Congregation. Finally I gave them my blessing and tomorrow, Saturday 16th, at about 4 am they will depart to Jimaní accompanied by Fr. Camilo Minaya, cmf., in the hope that they will be able to return to the seminary by Tuesday with good news.
I ask all of you to join us in our prayer for them all, for the seminarians of other congregations and diocesans who died. Many ask themselves why God permitted all this. However we want to ask them, are they not seeing Him acting in the love and solidarity of so many?
Fr. Héctor Cuadrado. Cmf
Major Superior of Antillas